Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Sometimes you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right!
-lyrics from "Scarlet Begonias" by the Grateful Dead

Everyone knows I love music, especially rock and roll. Over the years I have read many books, usually biographies, about my favorite musicians. Last night, while reading the biography of Pete Townshend, it occurred to me how many of these music biographies are another form of spiritual reading. I say this because many of them seem to have the same pattern. Many of these rock stars had difficult or poor childhoods. They felt a calling within them to pursue their musical muse. More often than not they achieved great wealth and fame. Sooner or later it comes crashing down in a multitude of ways, i.e., drug addiction or alcoholism, financial problems, the breakdown of relationships, etc. The wonderful life they had achieved becomes a dark night of the soul. The lucky ones survive this and find redemption. They clean up their act with the help of rehab and therapy. They stabilize and rethink their financial lives. They mend broken relationships. They rediscover old beliefs or find something new to believe in that is bigger than themselves. They find a new direction in their lives that often transforms their artistic expression. Most of us go through similar patterns even if our lives are not so public or dramatic and we are not artists. The whole process is the transformation that we all must go through in order to move beyond the false self. Even rock stars, whether they realize it or not, are eventually forced to look in the mirror and see the truth of their own illusions. Some people are put through the transformation of their lives without desiring it and often without their cooperation. Other's pursue such a transformation and may be unhappy with their progress. One way or another the rough stones of our lives will be made smooth by the flowing waters of life. It is a slow process and on a day to day basis we may not notice the transformation. Like the effects of flowing water over rough stones for a long period of time, life will transform us and hopefully a spiritual awakening will be the result.

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